Former Pittsburgh Pirates World Series-winning third baseman Richie Hebner had a crowd of 526 people laughing, applauding and heeding some serious advice at the end of his speech on Saturday night at the Pasquerilla Conference Center.
Hebner talked about his 18-season career in the major leagues with the Pirates, Phillies, Cubs, Tigers and Mets. He told humorous stories as well as tales of the Pirates’ successful playoff runs of the 1970s and the ’71 Series win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The colorful former infielder and longtime minor league coach also delved into a popular topic of his working 35 years during the offseason as a gravedigger in a cemetery owned by his family. He also has worked at a funeral home the past 15 years.
Near the end of his time at the podium, Hebner did a Q&A with members of the crowd, discussing players such as Roberto Clemente, Dock Ellis, Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Jim Palmer and more.
Hebner also discussed the opioid epidemic that is adversely impacting lives, young and old, throughout the country.
The Hall of Fame inducted to the Class of 2017:
- Bill Cameron, Johnstown’s Kline’s Amusements and Auburn University.
- Eric Dinyar, Johnstown’s Pepsi-Cola/Knickerbockers pitcher/first baseman and minor league pitcher.
- Pete Pekich, Johnstown’s Hahn Packing pitcher on the 1956 AAABA Tournament runner-up team and minor league hurler who died in 2000.
- Charlie Todaro, Johnstown Oldtimers officer who worked on many committees and annually helped organize the opening night parade and on-field ceremonies prior to his death in 2015.